Pamela Kay Sowell left this world way too early on the morning of Thursday, April 6, 2017. Pam passed away peacefully in her sleep while on a trip to Florida, doing what she loved most - watching her children play softball. Pam was born Nov. 2, 1956, to Peggy and Lesla Woods, in Jackson, Mississippi, where she lived until she met the true love of her life, James "JM" Sowell. Pam and JM eventually moved to Fairbanks with their son, Joe Martin, and for nearly 30 years, Fairbanks was home. It was also the birthplace of daughters Shaun and Delaney. Pam and JM were married for more than 36 years, and their love for each other was the kind of love others hope for. They were best friends, which was easy to see as they walked hand-in-hand most everywhere they went. They took extraordinarily good care of each other and gave their children endless amounts of love, while providing a perfect example of the kind of relationship to strive for. While this marriage has been paused for now, the love between them is still present and strong and forever will remain in their hearts. Pam worked at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for 25 years, where she touched many lives and built an endless amount of friendships using her warm spirit and contagious smile and laughter. She retired from UAF in 2013 and moved with her family to La Grange, Kentucky. Her biggest accomplishments and proudest moments were of her family. She devoted every ounce of her energy to making the lives better for JM, Joe, Shaun and Delaney. When asked what she planned to do in retirement, she would say, "Spend time with family, follow Delaney onto her next adventures and relax." But the funny thing is, Pam never could relax. She always was looking for the next task to satisfy the needs of someone else. Her favorite dinnertime quote was, "Anybody need anything?" She was sure to ask that of her family and friends countless times before finally sitting down to enjoy time for herself. Most recently, Pam gave up her retirement life to become a full-time grandparent daycare to her first and only grandson, Trajan James Tiger Joseph. Pam and JM spent every weekday caring for TJ, and she was so proud to have a grandson to call her Gigi. Gigi and TJ walked, talked and played together for the past year. She is a big part of who TJ has become and her spirit will live on throughout his life. Throughout her life, Pam was an avid supporter of youth athletics. She was always her kids' biggest fan. Many people will remember Pam cheering from the sideline or coaching her daughters in basketball or softball. Oftentimes, she was the team mom, treating each player as her own and making everyone feel special, supported and loved. Joe, Shaun and Delaney constantly would hear from others, "Your mom is Pam? She is the nicest person." And that was Pam. She never met a stranger and was quick to offer a warm greeting to anyone within shouting distance. Pam could also be a little feisty from the sidelines when it came to her children or their team. She was quick to stick up for her loved ones and didn't mind telling a referee or an official of their mistakes. Luckily, she only earned a handful of warnings and technical fouls and never was ejected. With her big heart, beautiful smile and loving ways, Pam lived life to its fullest. She was a pure joy to be around and learned to enjoy her life in retirement. Although words alone will never truly explain how amazing or loved Pam was, her friends and family will always know that she was one-of-a-kind and a truly special person. If you knew Pam, please remember those special moments she created and carry that generosity and love with you throughout your life. Her family will look up at the sun, to feel her warmth and love, and will end each day searching for the sunset as she says goodnight. Pam is preceded in death by her mom and dad, Peggy and Lesla Woods; father- and mother-in-law, Gene and Pauline Sowell; brother-in-law, Mike Miller; and nephew, Trevor Miller. She is survived by husband JM Sowell; son, Joe Martin; daughters, Shaun and Delaney Sowell; grandson, Trajan Joseph; son-in-law, Brandon Joseph; sisters, Evelyn Willis and Shelby Lynn Davis; brothers, Roger Williams, Al Woods and Spence Woods and their families; sister-in-law, Linda Miller, and family; and brother-in-law, Shawn Sowell, and family. Pam also leaves behind many friends and family in the great communities of Fairbanks, La Grange, Kentucky, and throughout the state of Mississippi, who will miss her dearly. A celebration of life is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, 6220 Old LaGrange Road, in Crestwood, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help alleviate some of the costs of this unforeseen situation: http://bit.ly/2oLOYCL. The Sowell family greatly appreciates any and all donations, prayers and thoughts. We love you, Pammie.
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